Liverpool given clear incentive by Man Utd to revive ‘very real’ summer transfer talks

Klopp reflects on Liverpool's win at Wolves

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Liverpool have been handed an incentive to pursue John McGinn now that Manchester United are reportedly interested in the Aston Villa midfielder. The Reds were linked with McGinn in the summer but a transfer never materialised. 

Boss Jurgen Klopp was frequently told by fans and pundits that he needed to sign a new midfielder in the summer transfer window.  

The German ultimately chose not to strengthen in the area despite a midfield injury crisis in the previous season. They also lost Gini Wijnaldum on a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain. 

Centre-back Ibrahima Konate was the Anfield outfit’s only major arrival, joining in a £36million deal from RB Leipzig.  

But Liverpool were reportedly interested in concluding a deal for McGinn as well.

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According to The Athletic, Klopp had been impressed by the Scotland international and his interest was ‘very real’.

That plan might be scuppered by Premier League rivals United, though. According to the Sun, Ralf Rangnick wants to replace Paul Pogba with McGinn if it becomes clear that the Frenchman will depart. 

Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season and talks over a new deal are not understood to be going smoothly.  

United’s interest in McGinn might force Liverpool to re-enter the race to sign the 27-year-old.  

Reds head coach Klopp grew frustrated by suggestions that he needed to replace Wijnaldum during the summer and even told journalists to tell him who they thought he should sign. 

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He said just days before the window slammed shut: “He (Wijnaldum) was the most consistently available player. I don’t think you have to hide the relationship I had with Gini and how much I love his way of play and how reliable he was. But he’s not here anymore. 

“So you tell me if you would sign a midfielder and tell me the name and I’ll think about it.  

“I am really interested. We can count our midfielders and you can tell me if we need to replace Gini Wijnaldum.  

“Now you tell me which player we need. I am not angry or annoyed – I am really interested – which kind of player do you think we should sign? 

“Should he score more goals than Gini, should he defend better than Fab (Fabinho), should he be more creative than Naby [Keita], Curtis [Jones], Ox (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain), Harvey [Elliott]? What do you want?” 

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Klopp was told that the ideal midfielder would score more goals, to which he snapped back: “So he should score more goals, makes sense. I don’t know which midfielder it is then that scores more goals from that position, we never said we don’t have to improve. 

“But to score more from midfield positions you have to create the situations for that. A midfielder has to play for us in a way that we play, and it’s not that easy that he’s in goalscoring situations.  

“They have to do different jobs, we have a specific setup for our team. You see where our full-backs are in certain situations, we could have scored more goals, yes.  

“It’s not about having a different player for that, it’s about different positioning in that situation and our boys can do that as well.”

Liverpool have coped without making as many summer additions as their rivals, with Klopp’s men flying and in second place, just a point off leaders Manchester City. However, Klopp may be forced into spending next month, with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane set to miss a number of key fixtures due to their AFCON involvement.

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